How to cook without fat

Mar 31, 2011 at 2:38 a.m. ET

One of the best ways to keep an eye on your diet is to make your own food. Restaurant meals and processed foods are full of hidden dangers and buried calories. However, just because you’re the cook doesn’t mean every meal you make is without fat. Even when you strive to avoid it, fats have a way of sneaking up you. Here are some tips for finding fats you didn’t know about and avoiding them.

Woman grilling

1Cut the oils

One of the most obvious sources of fat in the kitchen is cooking oils. Replace your cooking oils with red or white cooking wines. It's much better for you and will add a whole new level of flavor to your meals.

2Use a rack

Roast meats on a rack in your roasting pan. This keeps the meat from sitting in its own fat and juices. When it's time to baste, use lemon juice, wine or tomato juice instead of the fatty drippings at the bottom of the pan.

3Grill or broil

When you grill or broil, you are placing the meat on a rack where they don't touch their own fatty juice drippings.


Steam your veggies

Vegetables tend to lose a lot of flavor in the cooking process. Many chefs remedy that by adding toppings like butter, salt and pepper. Not only does this take away from the natural flavors, but it knocks out any nutritional value you may have gained from the vegetable. Try steaming your veggies. They'll hold on to their own moisture and flavors, so they'll need less doctoring up.

5Go skinless

Chicken skin may be a great source of flavor around your dinner table, but it's also a big source of fat. Buy the skinless variety instead. To cut back on cost, buy skin-on meat and take the skin off yourself since skinless chicken is often more expensive.

6Go lean

Ditch the hamburgers, pork chops and steaks. Instead, switch to lean meats like turkey and chicken. Both meats now come in several forms, making it easy to substitute them in some of your favorite recipes.

7Get saucy

When baking, replace all measurements of oils with applesauce. Not only will this significantly cut the fat in your recipes, but it'll add more moisture and flavor as well.

8Skip the dressings

Salad dressings can sabotage your salad. Instead of pouring on the fatty toppings, use the natural juices from tomatoes and other vegetable toppings to flavor your salad. If you simply must have some type of salad dressing, try low-fat and fat-free vinaigrettes.

9Use non-stick cookware

If your cookware is designed to keep food from sticking, you won't need to use as much grease. As an added benefit, clean-up is also easier with these types of pots and pans.

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